The Sharp-ribbed Newt, Pleurodeles waltl, possesses a unique defense mechanism, giving it its name; it is able to pierce its ribs through the poisonous skin, thus warding off predators with poisonous spines. This highly aquatic salamander is found in Portugal, Spain and northern Morocco and is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM.
Found in scrub, cultivated land, and woodland, Sharp-ribbed Newt populations are in decline. A main cause of population decline is habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of agrochemical pollution, nutrient pollution, drainage pollution, livestock pollution, and development. The species was once present in coastal areas, but has since retreated because of increases in tourism and human population. Introduced fish and crayfish also prey on the eggs and larvae of Sharp-ribbed Newts.
Some populations are within protected areas in Iberia, and the species is listed in Appendix III of the Bern convention. Spanish and Portuguese populations require further monitoring, although legislation in Spain ensures protection of the species, including the implementation of habitat restoration and captive breeding projects.
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How to become an Amazing Amphibians partner:
Outlined below are the roles and responsibilities for the 4 different levels of involvement for potential partners. If your organization would like to be a part of the Amazing Amphibians program in either of these capacities please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Partner – These partners will help with multiple aspects of the program, help facilitate the completion of several species profiles, publicize each Amazing Amphibian and will likely have a landing page for the program on their website. This level of partner will be leading in using their communication channels to gather additional information for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Strategic Partner – These partners will play an active role in creating species profiles, submitting at least three species profiles per year and actively use their social network to publicize each Amazing Amphibian. This level of partner will be active in using their communication channels to gather additional information for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Focal Partner – Partners tend to be active in a limited geographic area. This partner will submit at least one regional species profile per year and use their social network to publicize each Amazing Amphibian. This level of partner will be involved in using their communication channels to gather additional information at a regional level for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Affiliate – These partners are interested in promoting the program but might not be in a position to provide profiles. These partners will publicize each Amazing Amphibian through the social media outlets.